In this try analysis, we will look at a try scored last season by Bath centre Tom de Glanville, for Bath in their game at Leicester Tigers, in the second half of the season, after the restart. de Glanville’s role in this try was actually very minimal, being the one to finish the move off, but it was influential centre Josh Matavesi who did most of the hard work to set it up, as we will see.
In this image, Matavesi, in the yellow circle, has caught the ball at the back and run into the space in front of the Leicester defensive line. Here, he shapes to pass the ball, but this is a dummy, which catches Leicester out. What Matavesi wants to do is to create a gap between the Leicester players, and this is exactly what he gets. As we can see from the yellow arrow, he runs straight through, and his bulk helps him to get through, because he is a powerful player and difficult to stop. Leicester, on the flip side, haven’t been defending well this season, so both of these together are what makes it so easy for the Bath centre to get through and behind them.
Now, Matavesi is in the open space behind, with few Tigers defenders facing him. Matavesi again looks to offload the ball, but throws a second dummy pass to Tom de Glanville, who is in the yellow square, and who has run through to offer the passing option to his teammate.
However, the dummy doesn’t quite work as intended this time, as the space isn’t created in the same way.
Matavesi takes the ball almost into the tackle, which forces the two Tigers defenders to come together to try and stop him, and the red arrow shows how the one nearest to us moves across, having to commit to helping his teammate. This is necessary, because Matavesi is so difficult to stop, but when Matavesi passes to his teammate at the last moment, shown by the yellow arrow, de Glanville is now in the clear, and runs to score the try, as shown by the blue arrow.
On the far side, we have circled scrum-half Ben Spencer, who also made the run through to offer the passing option on the far side, creating a three-man attack. However, it was never the intention for Spencer to be passed the ball; this was another element of the trickery that made this move work and allowed the try to be scored.
Overall, this was a really well-worked try, but it owed a lot to the speed and power that Matavesi brings to the team, and shows why he is one of their most important players. The finish from de Glanville was good, but there is no doubting that he had the easy role in this attacking move.